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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Asked To Do A Show At A School Fair!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

nattefrost
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Hey everybody, I was sent an email by my son's teacher and also an email from one of the "higher ups" at the school and I need some advice. If anyone has read my previous posts I have been doing some pretty serious shows at my uncle's house parties one with about 25 people the most recent about 40. I am thrilled that I was asked to use my "magical talents" at my son's school fair at the end of October. I had to tell them that most of my effects are geared toward adults and I don't know if this is something I can do. If I wanted I could go through all of my effects, and I have close to a thousand (I am also a hobbiest), I will find the usual dissappearing crayons and the coloring book, the vanishing soda can, dissappearing pencil, magic popsicle and a bunch of others but these kids are between 3 and 6 years old, and I am so used to eyes watching my every move and doing real close-up type work to adults. I will not be the center of attention as there will be many other things going on but should I just bring some of my "kiddie" effects and a thumb tip, jumbo cards, etc. and just do something? I know giving me a month I can put something together and WILL make it look good but how much attention will 3-6 year old kids give? Will the parents jump in want to see something "better"? should I pocket "NFW" and "The Extractor" just in case? I don't know what I should do. I do know there are magicians who are SPECIFICALLY for kids who have ALL of the props (and the style). I'm not THAT, but the school is not looking for that, the told me they want a few "magic tricks for the kids" and they know what they will be getting but they still are want me to do it real bad. They emailed me 3 times now and I basically told them what I told you here at the Café just now, and they still want me to come. On the flip side I feel this could be a great learning experience for me...FUNSWAY....are you listening?????
nattefrost
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I just wanted to also say and I wanted to mention this a while ago that I still post in the "New To Magic" forum though I am not a beginner or new. It's just where the most people respond. If I am doing something wrong or against the Café rules......let me know please!
MMark
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Simple stuff is very powerful for young kids. You already have a TT, so how about some rope, a cheap plastic ball and vase, and SPONGE BALLS (a must). For smaller children the tricks must be visual and quick. I'm probably just scratching the surface.

Would you you be kind enough to let us know how it went?

Mark
DWRackley
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Two words: Audience Control

I never "specialized" in kid’s shows, but when I first started I took pretty much anything offered. Here’s what I remember.

Aim for the kids. The adults will enjoy it as well, but from a different perspective, almost as a co-conspirator. You might throw in one or two for the older folks, but if you don’t hold the kids, you’ll never keep the parents.

Also don’t expect any grownups to help in controlling the “little darlin’s”, because it’s rare that someone will do that, especially if the kids are from different families (nobody’s going to yell at somebody else’s kid, right?) A teacher may step in, but she’s busy watching parents and supervisors. Her paycheck is on the line.

You will have to be able to protect your goods from prying fingers. If they can reach it, they will grab it. They know how it’s done. They saw that one already. The magician last month did that same trick, and he was better than you. I want to see you float. Can you turn my sister into a rabbit? A Duck? A Skunk?

Also a child’s mindset is completely different from a grownup. They take nothing for granted. They know you’re trying to fool them so you’re going to have to show the hat is empty, twice. It’s up your sleeve. Doesn’t matter if it’s the size of a Volkswagen, it’s up your sleeve.

Sounds pretty negative so far, huh? The upside is that everyone you will talk to will be so very grateful that you came. They’re looking for free entertainment, and you came through.

You might get the idea that you’re just holding the kids still so the parents can visit with each other. But there will be a few that you actually connect with. And be prepared after the show to have one come up and show you “their” magic trick, usually sticking a coin into their ear, or swapping hands with something behind their backs.

Even though they may not behave as “politely” as we would hope an audience of adults would, they do appreciate the show, and many will remember you long after that night is over. A mixed blessing? Absolutely! I’d go for it (at least once!) Smile
...what if I could read your mind?

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Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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funsway
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You certainly should do this for all the reasons you have given yourself. The problem is that you also wish to entertain or astonish the adults there as they are the source of future gigs. There is also the problem of being so good that you will be asked again -- for free, of course. That is another issue on which you must decide on in advance.

Always remember that these little folk are people -- real, live human beings deserving of respect and never talked down to. They will have different levels of perception based on whether they read or not, but like to be challenged and 'test reality'. Do not expect aplause but you can coach "ooohs" and "ahhhs". Be prepared for several who might not pay attention or will try and steal the show. If possible, have them sit on the floor and you on a low chair -- making yourself higher but "other than" the other adults in the room. Avoid card tricks and the use of any object that can be folded or mutilated.

As to effects, the one that worked best was Hippity-Hop Rabbits as the addults are suckered more than the kids. Try and find out what the "lesson of the week" is and adapt an effect around it. Kids love stories and will readily accept a ball or silk as a person or animal. Act out stories with fictional characters being magical rather than yourself. FOr an ending I would get a bunch of those cheap puzzle tricks based on the curve principle like Adair's Butterfly. Show the kids the mystery and give everyone a set to take home. This optical illusion isn't magic but will open their eyes to magic all around them. The only expensive props I would recommend (if you have it) are Run-Rabbit-Run and Forgetful Feddy. Oh yes, make youself a change bag from a lunch bag and do an effect about finding items in your lunch that you don't like and exchanging with friends. You show might be coordinted with their snack break anyway -- make the msot of it and HAVE FUN. They probably will not remember any trick or even that magci occured, but they will remember that this grown-up came and made them laugh.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Mr. Mystoffelees
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A second here for HHR. I have a great story line idea, PM if you would like details. As to the coloring book, I have discontinued using that, as half the kids have it nowadays.

My very, very best received effect, you will find this hard to believe, is the disappearing rose, which you can get for about $6. Close second, is miser's dream. Third, a Rocky Raccoon routine. Always well received, a good rope routine, mine is a combo Sands/Tabary/Sanders. I stay away from PN, because too many kids have seen it. TT's are always good also...

A book worth getting is the Silly Billy "Seriously Silly" written very well by the king of kids magic.

Hope this helps- kids shows can be great fun- enjoy!

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
MMark
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As DWRackley said, you may have problems with grabby hands -- however I haven't experienced that even working with 3 year olds. Just move on quickly to the next trick and they will forget all about taking your sponge ball. Besides, you can't give them something that has vanished. Smile

Mark
Ed_Millis
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I heartily second the "Seriously Silly" recommendation. He not only shows you how to get a full five minutes of fun out of a TT and silk - he also explains what you can expect from kids of different ages: how they react and why, what they understand and will resond to magically, and how to "herd" them (you can NEVER "control" them!!) in a generally correct direction for your show.

Then again, you have a child in this age group. Play with them as you would play with him. Adults are expecting the punch line - kids just wanna play. Had a friend's 3-year-old telling her one joke over and over to anyone she could - she didn't get the joke at all, but she was having fun telling it.

Ed
magicbobc
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I think you have a great opportunity in hand. My first pay show, was a kid's party. I thought it was disastrous, but at the end o f the day I took a huge tip and a gave my business card away to all the present grownups, who by the way enjoyed the show probably more than the little ones.
Remember, to create illusion in magic also means to make the grownups feel childish again!
I love working with kids. It is a challenge! Your effects must be visual and funny. Include silly stuff in your patter, loads of acting, be funny... walk funny, dress funny if it goes along with your personality or with the character you wish to be for the kids.
Involve the kids, for example make them say the magic words repeatedly, make them shout. Believe it or not, this kids' show will help you improve your skills in audience control by far!!!
Have fun!
solrak29
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Here are some ideas...

Put your set show together with the premise, "they want a few "magic tricks for
the kids"
.

Consider effects that are more parlor/stand up type material. You can do
the same effects that you would do for adults and make them entertaining for kids.
The kids will stay if you engage them and have fun with them. If the kids are
entertained, in most cases, the parents will be entertained.


Quote:
I do know there are magicians who are SPECIFICALLY for kids who have ALL of the
props (and the style). I'm not THAT, but the school is not looking for that,


Most lay people will not know what your talking about when you mention the
above. Plus, to say we are not looking for a kid magician, but want a few
magic tricks to entertain the kids sounds contradicting. So I would take their
response with a grain of salt.

Remember, it will not be the "props" and/or "kiddie magic" (whatever that is) that
will make you entertaining.

Lastly, be carfull, you might end up doing kid shows Smile

Hope this helps.
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nattefrost
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Thanks all for all of the nice responses. I am at work now and I just got a chance to take a peek at what everybody had to say and I really appreciate it. Manderin I may PM you for that. Funsway and everyone else thanks. Now I am convinced that I really want to go ahead and do this. MMark, I didn't even think about those effects from the "Magic Kits" that everyone had when they were a kid. (Ball and vase, drawer box etc). Ideas are already in my head and I have one question........Will Tenyo's products be too much for them? I own a bunch of Tenyo's effects and I do not use them in my regular shows, (Prison box, Crystral Cleaver, Magical Door, Magic Pyramid and some others). How about having a kid him/herself pushing a quarter "through" the rubber into the cup then check for holes in the quarter penetration effect? Sponge balls IS a must, MMark. I am really good with kids and actually did a kide show for my son's 2nd Birthday (it was a disaster the kids ripped everything apart)...I will do this!
Ed_Millis
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I would be very careful about putting anything in the hands of a very young child. These sound like pre-schoolers, which means they are more into "guided playtime" than any kind of disciplined rules-oriented structure. The concepts of "mine" and "your's may not be firmly planted yet, and anything you let them touch will automatically become "mine"!

Ed
nattefrost
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Very true. But I know at least the kids in my son's class, and they are all very beyond their age. The rest are older. But that is very true, though.
solrak29
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Good luck and let us know how it turned out.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
Checkout my pseudo blog : The Sidewalk Performers Forum

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
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